UPDATED, Sunday 7:33 AM: 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 has slowed, but not in the worst way, and certainly not because moviegoers lost interest. While many yesterday morning predicted a weekend north of $130M for the sequel, Saturday turned out to be not so high, coming in at $40.5M instead of the $45M+ that many were seeing, and that puts the sequel’s weekend estimates at $125M, per Fox (some see it lower at $122M-$123M).

Still, at this level, Deadpool 2 is the second-highest R-Rated opening after Deadpool ($132.4M) and ahead of It ($123.4M). For Fox, the sequel is also the second-best opening ever, after Deadpool.

What Deadpool 2 doesn’t have that Deadpool had is a Sunday on a four-day holiday, a lovers’ weekend no less, and that did wonders to keep numbers high (as we mentioned earlier, Deadpool‘s Sunday of $42.5M was even with its Saturday).

What Deadpool 2 does have, and the reason why Fox jumped its release from the first weekend in June to here, is the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which is poised to be one of the better ones in years. Product over the May holiday has been severely tepid in recent years, but Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, is primed to churn out $140M-$170M over four days, which would reap a holiday record, beating Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($139.8M). It would come as no surprise if Deadpool 2 within its first 11 days clocks as much, if not more, cash than its predecessor’s $241.3M running cume.

Fox

If Deadpool 2 falls below its forecast $31.2M today, then it will be the third best R-rated opening ever, and that’s not horrible, since it would be one of three to open north of $100M. And as we mentioned in our previous update, Deadpool 2 is a fantastic commercial achievement for a raunchy comedy film, especially at a time when other studios can’t figure them out.

Fox was always smartly conservative about their projections, hoping to see $130M. The industry got very excited with a $150M forecast, and that’s because this summer touts younger franchises and more promising reboots than last year’s 15-year old Pirates of the Caribbean and 39-year old Alien. There’s a lot to be excited about in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Incredibles 2, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. That product line-up has AMC boss Adam Aron giddy about this summer’s boom over last year’s recession.

Should the argument be made that most superhero sequels open ahead of their first installment, Deadpool 2 is different kind of movie. While Disney’s MCU touches on lore, Deadpool 2 is about its irreverence and ultraviolence. Exit demos according to Fox: 61% male to 39% female, 62% over 25, with ticket-buyers comprised of 50% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 13% African American, 13% Asian and 4% other.

Deadpool 2 took in $11.5m at 408 Imax screens in North America, and reps the second-biggest domestic opening ever for an R-rated and Fox title, with a big per screen average of $28K+. Fox reports that Deadpool 2 played fairly balanced across the U.S. and Canada, with the west over-indexing, the Midwest and south central slightly over-indexing, and the Northeast and Southeast slightly under-indexing. Top theaters were located in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Orlando, Montreal, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Oklahoma City. Canada repped 7.3% of the weekend with 1,079 premium screens (PLF=673 + IMAX= 406) fueling close to a quarter of the weekend’s B.O.

Paramount’s Book Club is coming in at $12.5M, which is better than its $9M-$10M tracking and ahead of other elder-skewing titles like Warner Bros.’ Going in Style ($11.9M) and Broad Green’s A Walk in the Woods ($8.2M). We were getting word on Thursday that advance ticket sales were pushing this pic’s opening into the teens, but the royal wedding’s repeated airings throughout yesterday was a bit of an obstacle. There’s a chance we could see more improved numbers today, but a good start for this Paramount title, one that the studio’s EVP of Worldwide Acquisitions Syrinthia Studer acquired U.S./UK/France rights on for an estimated $10M. Per Paramount: 80% of the audience was female, 88% of the audience was over-35, 60% over-50, and nearly 50% women over-50. The studio is looking forward to some legs on Book Club: Going in Style, whichdid a 3.78x for $45M, and A Walking in the Woods off its 3-day Labor Day weekend did 3.6x for $29.5M final stateside cume.

Global Road’s Show Dogs saw a 94% increase in Saturday and will call the weekend this morning at $6M. Talking dogs, tired family sub-genre.

A24

Focus Features’ Wim Wenders doc Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, collected $480K at 346 sites, with a 92% audience score in the top two boxes and an 82% definite recommend from its audience. Pic will expand into more theaters in its third weekend. Warner Bros.’ re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey is now filing a solid $50K per theater for $200K this weekend at the Arclight Hollywood, Village East NYC, Music Box Chicago and the Castro San Francisco.  Again, it’s a 50th anniversary remastered ‘unrestored’ print overseen by Christopher Nolan that recently played at the Cannes Film Festival. Paul Schrader’s A24 thriller First Reformed is one of the director’s best per screen averages in years, with $25K a theater ($100K at four locations) besting Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist ($1k PTA off a $140K opening), and Autofocus ($11K PTA off a $123K opening). BleeckerStreet’s British romance On Chesil Beach turned in a paltry $9,1K per screen for $36K. Overall weekend ticket sales according to ComScore are at $205.5M, +63% from a year ago, when Fox’s Alien: Covenant led the box office with $36.1M. Annual tickets sales for the frame of Jan. 1-May 20 are at $4.56B, +6.3%.

Studio reported estimates for the weekend of May 18-20:

UPDATED, Saturday AM: Chart coming We’ve written recently about the near obituary for R-rated comedy films at the box office, and how they’re not hitting their marks in a Hangover, Wedding Crashers, or even We’re the Millers mass-appealing kind of way. But if you think about it, Deadpool 2 (and, of course, its first installment), is a loud example at the B.O. which proves that R-rated comedies really do still work. It’s satirical, shameless, wonderfully obnoxious, and quite star- driven in Ryan Reynolds embodiment of the character. The franchise’s notoriety as a rebel among superhero movies makes it all the more cooler; Deadpool evolved comedies from a commercial standpoint, for the 20th Century Fox title easily made an estimated $53.3M in its first day (that’s including $18.6M Thursday night previews), giving it the highest opening day for an R-rated movie, beating New Line/Warner Bros.’ It ($50.4M). Three-day is at an estimated $132.1M, which is within nickels and dimes of overtaking Deadpool‘s record R-rated opening of $132.4M.

Fox

This is not to say that the future of comedy lies in superhero hybrids, not to mention Deadpool is its own sensibility. But increasingly, action comedies are a surer bet at the B.O. (granted that they’re at the right price) than anything situational, i.e. Central Intelligence, Spy are ones that have worked. Adam Sandler’s decampment from the cinema to Netflix is proof that he knows which way the winds are blowing in regards to the broad aspect of the genre, and the format allows him to be more creative and quirky in ways than perhaps a studio tentpole comedy would not permit in regards to ticket buyers. Superhero movies feasibly prove that they’re worth the trip to the multiplex and better than anything on a Netflix menu. But broad comedies are straining. Some distribution executives disagree and believe that only the bad comedies aren’t working. But the reality is that now, more than ever, comedies can no longer be mailed in. Each attempt has to be brazenly fresh, which is risky and easier said than done. Moviegoers may have felt they’ve already seen Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party in its one-sheets and set-up of a parent going back to college, and the box office results show it with a second weekend take of $7.6M, -57% in fourth with $30.9M. But the R-rated Brian Henson comedy The Happytime Murders is the type of bold, swing for the fences –literally a Meet the Feebles for the masses– which could prove to be a bright spot for comedies this summer.

Deadpool 2 received an A CinemaScore, just like the first one. Males numbered 59% to 41% females, with a predominant over 25 crowd at 71%. There was more of an under-25 presence for Deadpool at 45%, but what this means when you see a swing in demos is that the Deadpool audience just got older. Forty-three percent bought tickets because of Ryan Reynolds, which is roughly in the same vicinity as the first movie’s 47%.

Avengers: Infinity War with $28.2M, -54% in weekend 4, easily ranks second with $595.8M by Sunday.

Paramount’s acquisition Book Club is still ahead of tracking with an estimated $13.4M, which is still in the teen range of where these older skewing comedies start. Post Trak audiences gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars, with CinemaScore exit polls showing an A-. Women turned out at 80% giving the Diane Keaton-Jane Fonda-Candice Bergen comedy an A-. Over 25 numbered 97% at an A- while the 50+ sector repped 61% of the crowd, also A-. Forty percent came out for the actresses.

With close to $5.3M, Global Road’s family comedy Show Dogs is looking at 6th place. Talking dogs — we’ve seen it all before, but for those who actually went to the theater, they didn’t think it was too bad, with an A- CinemaScore. Under 18 at 47% gave the Will Arnett comedy an A, while females –typically moms– turned out at 65%, grading the movie an A-.

Warner Bros Pictures

Highlights on the specialty side: Magnolia’s RBG still fantastic at 375 locations with $1.2M in weekend 3, with what looks to be another second weekend 10th place notch.

Warner Bros. unrestored 70MM re-release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is looking at a theater average of close to $47K, or $187K at four venues in NY, LA, Chicago and San Francisco. Christopher Nolan worked with Warner Bros. on the mastering process, and the pic played at the Cannes Film Festival six days ago.

Focus Features’ Wim Wenders doc Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, which also recently played Cannes, is projected to take in $590K at 346 locations. Eight-seven percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.

A24

A24’s Paul Schrader thriller First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried ,follows a Dutch Reform parish pastor who is asked by a pregnant parishoner to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist who ultimately takes his own life. The pic has a huge 97% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Pic is bound for an estimated $100K opening at four locations, for a solid $25K theater average. Pic premiered in the fall festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and TIFF last year.

BleeckerStreet’s On Chesil Beach starring Saoirse Ronan and based on Ian McEwan’s novel about a young English couple in the early 1960s whose idyllic courtship leads to an awkward and fateful wedding night isn’t doing so hot at four New York and Los Angeles theaters, with a $38K projected weekend, $9,5K per screen. Rotten Tomatoes are at 68% fresh which isn’t hot for a specialty release.

Here’s the industry estimates for the weekend of May 18-20:

thumb rank film dist. screens (chg) fri 3-day (-%) total wkd no.
1 Deadpool 2 Fox 4,349 $53.3M $132.1M 1
2 Avengers: Infinity War Dis 4,002 (-472) $7.3M (-54%) $28.2M (-54%) $594.6M 4
3 Book Club Par 2,781 $4.7M $13.4M 1
4 Life of the Party NL/WB 3,656 (0) $2.2M (-56%) $7.6M (-57%) $30.9M 2
5 Breaking In Uni 2,537 (0) $1.9M (-58%) $6.4M (-63%) $28.7M 2
6 Show Dogs GR 3,212 $1.4M $5.3M 1
7 Overboard LG/MGM 1,820 (-186) $1.1M (-47%) $4.6M (-53%) $36.9M 3
8 A Quiet Place Par 2,327 (-817) $1.1M  (-39%) $3.8M (-41%) $176M 7
9 Rampage NL/WB 1,466 (-1,082) $342K (-58%) $1.37M (-60%) $92.3m 6
10 RBG Mag 375 (+196) $552k (-38%) $1.2M (+2%) $3.8M 3
11 I Feel Pretty STX 1,505 (-1,353) $350K (-64%) $1.18M (-69%) $46.4M 5

UPDATED, Friday PM: 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 is on its way to potentially unseating New Line/Warner Bros.’ It for the top opening day ever for an R-rated pic with a $50M-$52M take. Thursday night’s $18.6M reps 36% of today’s estimated first-day figure. It made $50.4M on its opening day (plus $13.5M previews) last September, while Deadpool ranked second with a $47.3M start. Though Deadpool 2 is higher in its Friday than the first chapter, right now analysts are calling its opening at $130M+. We hear it’s more or less keeping pace with the 2016 title, with both matinees and projected evenings very strong. Production cost before P&A on Deadpool 2 is a reported $110M.

At mobile movie ticket retailer Atom Tickets, Deadpool 2 now holds the record for the highest pre-sale volume of all time, displacing Avengers: Infinity WarDeadpool 2 Atom ticket buyers are 61% male, 39% female, which is more male than their average R-rated advance ticket buyers who are 57% under the age of 34; 80% who don’t have kids.

Where does Deadpool 2 leave Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in weekend four? Not crippled, that’s for sure with the Russo Brothers movie set to make $31M-$32M for a 48%-50% decline and a running total of $598.3M.

Book Club
“Book Club”
Paramount Pictures

Paramount’s Diane Keaton-Jane Fonda-Candice Bergen older femme comedy Book Club is indeed overindexing as we anticipated eariler with $5.5M today and $15M-$16M this weekend. This is according to industry estimates, not Paramount. June Pictures and Endeavor Content financed Book Club and Paramount picked up the movie out of last fall’s AFM for a reported $10M, which included domestic, UK and France rights.

No bow-wow for the weekend’s third wide release, Global Road’s Show Dogs with $1.6M today and $5M-$6M.

UPDATED, Friday AM after Thursday night EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 came in at the high end of projections last night with $18.6 million, easily making it the best preview night ever for an R-rated film. It tops New Line/Warner Bros’ It, which cashed in $13.5M. Industry forecasts last night ranged from $15M-$18M for previews that began at 7 PM last night at 3,785 locations. With Thursday night crowds, Deadpool 2 scored a 5-out-of-5 stars with a 78% definite recommend.

Deadpool 2
Fox

Today, Deadpool 2 expands to 4,349 theaters which counts as Fox’s widest release ever after its release of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s 4,253 locations, and it’s also a record wide release for an R-rated title, besting It‘s 4,103 opening weekend theater count.

Before It, the first Deadpool owned the R-rated preview record with $12.7M before grossing $47.3M on its opening Friday, with Thursday night repping 27% of that number. That movie had the bonus of playing over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, with an extra boost from Valentine’s Day that Sunday (The Merc’s daily figures rose a tad, from $42.5M on Saturday to $42.6M on Sunday). Fox marketed to women heavily then via Deadpool stunts on ABC’s The Bachelor, and easily drew in a couples, plus Reynolds’ femme fans.

The three-day opening for Deadpool was $132.4M, while four-day was $152.1M. Deadpool owns the all-time record at the domestic box office for both a R-rated movie and a 20th Century Fox release.

Fox is projecting $130M through Sunday for Deadpool 2, while the town is bullishly predicting more at $150M. Even on the low end, that’s one of the top seven  starts for a May release behind last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146.5M). Working in the pic’s favor is that sweet under-25 spot, with 72% of colleges on summer break tomorrow.

To clarify for some out there: While Deadpool is based on a Marvel comic book, it’s not part of the Disney MCU (not yet at least). Years ago, when Marvel was selling off film rights for its superheros, Fox scored those for X-Men, Deadpool, Cable, Gambit and The Fantastic Four, among others.

Paramount

In other news, yesterday we heard that Paramount’s older-female-skewing Book Club could overindex its $9M-$10M tracking with a three-day that’s in the high teens, possibly $20M. That wasn’t off any 5 PM preview projections last night; rather, Fandango spotted advance ticket sales for the movie pacing with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($17.8M) and far ahead of older-skewing titles Last Vegas ($16.3M) and Going in Style ($11.9M). Again, we’ll see how the advance tix translate.

In regard to Thursday night previews, Book Club posted $625,000, which is in between The Intern‘s $650K preview night and Going in Style‘s $600K. Intern posted a $6.2M Friday and $17.7M weekend while Going in Style earned a $4.3M Friday.

Given how older crowds make their way to the cinema slower, the hope with these films is the leg-out factor, and that boils down to how long a distributor can convince a multiplex to keep a  title on screens. Even when these movies are making money, some exhibition bookers get thick-headed and move holdovers out for fresher fare, even if it’s B-grade and only destined to last two weeks.

Social media monitor Relish Mix reports it’s noticing fans of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen chiming in that they’re excited to see the pic, with many women tagging each other on Facebook for a girls night out. Fonda is the social media champ for the film across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with 1.6M followers, followed by Alicia Silverstone, who counts 1.5M. Keaton has 700K.

The stars of Book Club left a spicy message for Reynolds on Deadpool 2‘s opening weekend.

Global Road has Show Dogs this weekend, which is looking to do in the high single digits, while Disney’s almighty Avengers: Infinity War is forecast to make around $32M, for a running total by Sunday of $598M — not too far from the six-century mark. On Thursday, the Russo brothers-directed movie made $3.4M.